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DorsetLife WIMBORNE The Dorset Magazine



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This copy of Dorset Life in Wimborne is presented to you with the compliments of Dorset Life – The Dorset Magazine: Dorset's longest-established county magazine. Dorset Life – The Dorset Magazine celebrates the best of Dorset in words and pictures every month. Within the pages of each issue is the history, landscape, villages, people, presentday activities, wildlife, historic buildings and gardens of Dorset. Presented to the highest standards of quality, both editorial and photographic, Dorset Life – The Dorset Magazine is essential reading for

Dorset Lifein WIMBORNE 2011 contents

The Wimborne property scene.....................................….5 My Wimborne What Wimburnians love about the town.................….11 Wimborne attractions and events Where to go and what to see in Wimborne..............….17 Plots abound at Kingston Lacy National Trust's allotment scheme for locals.................22 Wimborne's TIC The centre for tourism and much, much more..........….29

everyone with an interest in Dorset.

In the best possible taste Why Wimborne is a gastronome's paradise...................33

Dorset Life – The Dorset Magazine is available

Dumpton: a school like no other From astronaut training to a zero-carbon school run..39

from most supermarkets and all good newsagents in Wimborne and throughout Dorset.

DorsetLife agazine The Dorset M

and rset in words The best of Do


A good and faithful servant Celebrating the contribution of Anthony Oliver ...........43 The Minster's Chained Library The story behind this significant historic collection...47

0 e 2011 £2.5 No.387 Jun

r Dorcheste ty's busiest CAB e the coun Insid


million raised £2.7 How locals


ry Shaftesbu spital's firsts ho The military

y Clive Hanna mbe draws Whitco

dell Colin Varn Gorse r's explores Alne

For enquiries and subscriptions (a subscription to the magazine makes an easy and most welcome gift):

Telephone 01929 551264

Dorset Life in Wimborne is published by The Dorset Magazine Ltd, 7 The Leanne, Sandford Lane, Wareham BH20 4DY Publisher: Lisa Richards Editor: Joël Lacey Advertisement Sales Director: David Silk Business Development Manager: Julie Cullen Editorial design: Mark Fudge ( Cover image: Wimborne Folk Festival by Steve Edwards Photography Centre-spread photograph (pages 26-27): Eyebridge by Claire Hutton Advertisement design: Hierographics ( Advertisement administration: Julie Staniland Printing: Blackmore, Shaftesbury. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part prohibited without permission.














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was added in the 19th century and incorporated into the original dwelling, could serve to form an independent living unit if required. Within the accommodation is a wealth of character with exposed beams and fine fireplaces. Lying to the south of the farmhouse is a large concreted yard, around which are arranged various buildings, including well-appointed stabling and storage facilities, dating from the last two or three hundred years. Adjoining this area is a

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together with beautiful surrounding countryside, Wimborne Minster is attractive to a wide field of purchasers, says Calton Stockley MNAEA of Symonds and Sampson in Wimborne. This range of buyers includes growing families looking to move into relevant school catchment areas and also to those who wish to be closer to the areas’ private schools. Equally there are purchasers retiring to the town, or purchasers looking for village locations that offer peace and tranquillity, and also buyers looking for homes with land either to live the 'good life' or to accommodate their ponies or horses. In line with most areas, Wimborne has witnessed a fall in property prices over the past three to four years, with slight recoveries during 2010; although fortunately, thanks to the previously-mentioned benefits of Wimborne, compared to some other regions, property prices still remain buoyant and demand is still very much out there for the right home. According to Peter Lane of Savills in Wimborne, one of the nicest things about the area is the availability of good-sized houses with equestrian facilities. Just 2½ miles north of Wimborne, in Holt, lies Pig Oak Farm, an 18th-century, Grade II Listed farmhouse with brick-faced cob walls under a thatched roof. The original house has a datestone of 1723, whilst a two storey brick and tile cottage, which


The Wimborne property scene

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The Wimborne property scene

Shaftesbury Lodge

railed former ménage of about a quarter of an acre and well-maintained paddocks provide grazing of approximately fifteen acres; to round off the mosaic of land types in this rural idyll there is even an additional area of woodland copse. As Glyn Bagley looks around Wimborne town, he thinks that it has been slightly cushioned from the recession. ‘There are,’ he says, ‘companies willing to invest money in new buildings for headquarters; builder/developers are also now putting forward plans and proposals for new houses, while small developments have already started and the signs are looking good for future work.’ In fact, he reports: ‘Glyn Bagley Building Contractors Ltd have noticed a significant rise in enquiries for all types of work from small extensions to full refurbishments and new properties. As long as the housing market is starting to experience new growth then the supporting industries will feel the benefit from the upturn of the economy.’ Established for over seventy years, Wimbornebased house builder, Harry J Palmer, have seen property squeezes come and go. They have, however,

enjoyed a successful start to the year with the completion of a development of seven flats for a local Housing Trust and the success of their newest development, ‘Shaftesbury Lodge’, which comprises a mix of two and three bedroom houses in Meyrick Park, Bournemouth. Although aiming to continue to build new homes in and around Wimborne and across Dorset, the company will offer estimates on any building work to prospective customers if the capacity is there. On the lettings front, Stephanie Marshall, of the Wimborne Dorset Lettings office, says: ‘The summer always brings with it the usual fast flow of tenants seeking their ideal property, and this year is no exception. I’m delighted that the majority of properties are letting swiftly with many properties going onto the market and letting within a timespan measured in days, rather than weeks or months, which is excellent news for our landlords. We recently let a four-bedroom bungalow in Colehill within 48 hours of marketing, and secured a longterm tenancy for a professional family in a newlyrenovated, three-bedroom house in Wimborne within a matter of days.’ She also records that rental incomes have remained steady over the past few months and there has been an increase in the number of investment buyers purchasing buy-to-let properties, based on the company’s local knowledge and rental projections. ‘We usually secure tenants within a couple of weeks, with the tenancy typically starting within 4-6 weeks of the start of marketing the property, she says, adding that ‘we’re looking forward to a productive summer’.


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Vox populi, vox dei

Why I love Wimborne Dorset Life took to the streets and shops of Wimborne to ask Wimburnians just why they like living and working here It is one of the great truisms of journalism, and indeed of asking any question, that the first answer given to a question is probably the right one. The question in this case was: ‘Why do you like living in Wimborne?’, the answers…? Well more of them in a moment. To those of you who were approached by a strange man asking the loaded question ‘Are you local?’, Dorset Life would like to offer an apology. To those who, against their better judgement, further agreed to be photographed in connection with the piece, we can only express our gratitude. But at the heart of this piece was a simple desire to get to the heart of what it is that makes Wimborne special and clearly the best people to ask are the people who live or work in Wimborne One general point to make is that Waitrose’s arrival is now seen as a largely positive thing, with few dissenters and many supporters; in the case of the Wimborne Folk Festival, the positions seem to be what might charitably be described as a little more entrenched, respondents being either very strongly in favour of, or implacably opposed to, the folk festival. By and large, although the residents and workers of Wimborne might not be in lock-step over why they love Wimborne, what comes through quite clearly is that they very much do, but that is most easily expressed in their own words.

Wendy Kenny I love Wimborne because it’s close to everything that you could want. It has river walks, the Tivoli, a wide range of shops, the vast majority of which are privately owned, and of course the wonderful people and the very strong community spirit with organisations like Wimborne in Bloom, Dreamboats and the twinning association. There is, if you are unlucky enough to need it, a wonderful hospital, there are good bus services and it is close to the beautiful beaches in Bournemouth. Not forgetting the Minster, which is lovely to wake up to.

Wendy Kenny (left) and Melissa Fairchild (right)

Melissa Fairchild I grew up in Colehill, went to Canford School so although I’ve been at university in Leeds and am moving to London, Wimborne is very much home to me. It’s really good for nightlife, surprisingly so for the size of the town. I love the ‘Party in the paddock’, which has turned into a kind of Canford School reunion. The people are always friendly and although it would be nice if there were a couple more clothes shops for my age-group, I wouldn’t want it to be at the expense of the independent shops.

Nicky Taylor I have worked here for four years and my three children all go to different schools in the Wimborne area, which is one of the town’s plusses: there really are excellent schools in the area. Waitrose has brought a new wave of customers to the town – people who come for the day to wander round the independent shops and then go back to the supermarket to do a big shop – and I do like the green in front of it, which is a lovely place to have picnics.


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Why I love Wimborne Pauline Aston Wimborne has a good range of supermarkets, lots of restaurants to walk to, nice walks along the river and it has a lot of history too. Above all, though, the people are very friendly. The Minster is a great pull for the town, the Priest’s House Museum is good too and the Tivoli is probably its greatest asset.

Carol Bristow There is a good range of shops, Walford Mill is great and there are lots of friendly people and a really good community spirit here. I moved away for work, but the area brought me back and I’ve lived here for thirty-odd years now.

Trevor Lake There’s a very low level of crime and very well behaved people. In spite of Waitrose, its still a very quiet town and has a very rural feel. For the visitor, it’s a place that you can visit and mooch around for a few hours without getting bored. It’s a very nice place to live and one of the nicest places I’ve ever worked.

Gavin Hastings Wimborne is fantastic because it encapsulates traditional Britain. It’s also close to larger places like Poole and Bournemouth, but not too close.

Sharon Foster It’s a really friendly place with a nice community atmosphere and lots of events going on. I don’t think you could live in a better place

Jeff Webb Probably the best thing about Wimborne is that the heart wasn’t torn out of it by town planners, that it wasn’t destroyed by development in the 60s and 70s. I love the fact that Wimborne is old-fashioned, that the roads are narrow and some still cobbled and it is certainly a wonderful place to bring up kids. I moved away for my career but I always wanted to move back. I think the Edwardian Park (Redcotts Park) is an undiscovered treasure and I love taking my daughter there.

Sharon Denne I’ve been working here for seven years now and I think the town has a lovely feel. Everyone knows everyone and if you go to any social event in Wimborne, of which there are very many, you’ll always meet people there that you know. I would sum Wimborne up by saying that although it is a town, it feels very much like a village. Tracy Williams I think that the town has a very chilled feel to it.; it’s very relaxed and you can walk up to anyone and say hello. Compared to other towns and cities I’ve worked, coming to Wimborne feels like going on holiday. There are beautiful buildings, lots of lovely shops and it is like coming to a home from home.

Sharon Denne (left) and Tracy Williams (right)


Why I love Wimborne

Roger Hurrey (left) Jane Davison (centre) and Steve Davison (right)

Roger Hurrey I moved to Wimborne fifteen years ago and found it to be the nicest place I’ve ever lived. The outstanding feature of the town is the relaxed, friendly disposition of everyone in the town. It’s one of the only towns I’ve found where the young can talk to and be friends with the old and vice-versa.

in the town are great. I think the folk festival is a fantastic thing for the town; it’s really good fun.

Jane Davison Wimborne is a lovely little town that’s full of character and it’s got some lovely pubs and eateries. I like the community feel; you can walk down the street and talk to people that you know. Its rivers, the walks, and the amount of history

Steve Davison I’ve lived and worked here in the pub for twelve years now and apart from the friendly customers, because of what we do, we’ve got to know an awful lot of people in the town. Wimborne is a town of great character and there are lots of interesting corners in town as it has managed to remain largely untouched by time. We also have the Folk and Food festivals, which we get involved with, and which bring an awful lot of people to the town.

Judy Harris I love the community aspect of the town and that there are so many people who work in a voluntary capacity to make the town special. We’re really fortunate to have the Minster, Chained Library, Priest’s House Museum, Wimborne in Bloom, the Model town, Folk Festival and the Save the Children Christmas parade, to name but a few.

Hayden Taylor It’s beautiful here in Wimborne. I’ve lived here six or seven years and I’m going to get married here in the Minster in July. From Monday to Friday evening, it’s like a small rural village, and then everyone comes in from the outlying areas and it gets much, much busier. I could do without the Folk Festival, though.

Michelle (left) and Michaela Curtis-Turner (right)

Michaela Curtis-Turner There are lots of pubs here and a buzzing atmosphere on Friday nights. I love the Folk Festival, which is brilliant. I like to hear the bell-ringing practice, although perhaps less so when I lived right next to the Minster! I do like it here and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Michelle Curtis-Turner I live in Corfe Mullen but work in Wimborne and I love the heritage of the town and its historic sites. There’s something for everyone here, young and old.


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Earth Detectives

Pulpy Paper and Crafty Cuts

Sat 23 Jul, 10 to 4.30 Thu 18 Aug, 10 to 4 (last entry 3pm) Delve into our archaeological Fun art and craft activities for all the family. past with a dig and activities.

The Three Rs Schooldays in East Dorset End Jul to 31 Oct An exhibition on life in the schoolroom.

Wimborne Minster

We sell newspapers, fresh baked bread, greetings cards, general groceries, plus some speciality goods. We have a butchery selling our own “Rare Breeds Meat” raised on Cranborne Estate of which we are a part. We also sell “homemade” cakes and savouries both of which can be ordered for your special occasion.


Stories of Old Knowlton


Sat 27 Aug, 11am Keith Childs, a local archaeologist, will lead a guided tour of the site and settlement of Knowlton. Please call for booking details.





Ufcpcrmem_lbuf_rrmbm gl_lb_pmslbUgk`mplc or its size, Wimborne punches well above its weight when it comes to local attractions. Here are just a few of the jewels the town and locale have to offer.

Walford Mill The Dorset Craft Guild took on the lease of Walford Mill in 1986. In the 25 years since then, Walford Mill Crafts has established itself as a gallery and an educational centre promoting contemporary arts in the town. It is open from 10.00-5.00, Monday to Saturday and 11.00-4.00 on Sundays. 01202 841400, www.walfordmillcrafts.


Deans Court Set in thirteen acres of splendid grounds, Deans Court was originally the Deanery to the Minster and dates from the early 14th century. The house has been under the ownership of the same family – the Hanhams – since 1548. Although a private residence, there is a series of public events here this summer, culminating in the Feast of Dorset in September.

Wimborne Market The largest undercover market in south of England has a general market and flea market on Fridays and Sundays (with a farmers' market on the Friday) and a huge car boot sale on Saturdays.

Dreamboats There can be few things more relaxing than lazing around on the river on a balmy summer’s day and Dreamboats have been allowing local residents and visitors to do just that on the River Stour for the past 10 years. Dreamboats can be found by following the signs from Wimborne Market.

Wimborne Minster Its foundations date back to circa 705AD when Cuthburga, sister to Ina, King of the West Saxons, founded a nunnery on the site. The present building dates from around 1120 and its various additions span centuries. Every corner tells a story and the Chained Library, the Astronomical Clock and the Quarter Jack, which strikes every fifteen minutes, are a few of the features that have made it famous.

Kingston Lacy In 1634, Sir John Bankes bought the Kingston Lacy estate. It became the family home after he lost Corfe Castle in the English Civil War and remained so for 330 years. It was bequeathed to National Trust in 1981 by Ralph Bankes and Kingston Lacy remains one of National Trust’s most important estates.

Wimborne Minster Model Town Everyone associated with Wimborne should be grateful that four gentlemen from the town decided to visit Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire on a summer’s day 1948, where they were so inspired by a 1:10 scale model village of the area that they decided to build one of their own town. A lot has happened to the Model Town since then (including escaping being bulldozed down) and it was re-built and re-opened to the public in 1991. It is admired the world over as one of the best examples of the genre.

Priest’s House Museum & Garden Featuring ten galleries and regularly changing exhibitions and events, it is housed in a delightful townhouse with its own period features and a walled garden with topiary, fruits tree and flowering plants.

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Strawberry Fayre with stalls, hog roast, home made produce, plants, children's games and entertainment and much more. Pamphill First School, Pamphill,Wimborne, 5.00. Midsummer Yoga Festival, Gaunts House, nr Wimborne 07857 130347 5" Gauge Miniature Trains running, rides are free, donations welcome. Wimborne District Society of Model Engineers, Cobham Sports & Social Club Ground, Merley, 10.00-4.00. Concert at St. Stephen's Church, Pamphill, Wimborne, 7.30 Paintings in Stone: The Art of Ancient Mosaic by Dr Ann Birchall, Wimborne & Blandford Decorative & Fine Arts Society, Allendale Community Centre, Wimborne, 2.15. 01725 552225 Black Death in Southern England - D. G. (George) Watts, East Dorset Group of The Somerset & Dorset Family History Society, Allendale Community Centre, Wimborne, Doors open 7.30 for 8.00 meeting. 01202 821478 Concert by Bournemouth Electronic Organ Society, Allendale Community Centre, Wimborne, 7.30. 01202 590383

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Deans Court, Wimborne, Courses with lunches: 'Bee Keeping Maintaining Your Hive', 10.00-4.00. 01202 880515 Nicholas Hilliard and the Art of the Miniature' talk by Dr Gillian White, Wimbome NADFAS, Community Learning Centre, Wimborne, 7.45. 01258 840840 Coffee Morning & Table Top Sale, Royal British Legion Women's Section Wimborne, Royal British Legion, Wimborne, 10.00-12.00. 01202 885541 Dorset Hardy Plant Society - Julian Sutton 'Whatever Happened to Liliaceae?', Colehill Memorial Hall, nr Wimborne. 2.30, 01202 882590 An English Celebration, Wimbornc Choral Society & Wimborne Chamber Orchestra, Wimborne Minster. 7.30, 01202 603569 -31 Jul: Silver, a fundraising auction exhibition celebrating 25 years at the Mill. It will feature craft works from local & national makers following a silver theme, Walford Mill Crafts, Wimborne 10.00-5.00, Monday to Saturday, 11am-4pm Sundays, 01202 841400 Meet the House Conservation Team, learn how they care for the house, Kingston Lacy, Wimborne, 11.30-1.00. 01202 883402


Wimborne Minster Ideas on where to visit Tourist Information Centre Local Gifts and Souvenirs • Where to visit Dorset Books & • Local Gifts & Souvenirs Maps

• Dorset Books & Maps


West Borough Wimborne Box Office 01202 885566 18th June 8.00pm

1st September 8.00pm


THE ANIMALS & FRIENDS With special guest Steve Cropper

Tickets £20.00 1st July 8.00pm

Tickets £20.00

CHRIS JAGGER'S ACOUSTIC ROOTS TRIO Chris Jagger with David Hatfield on bass & Elliet Mackrell on fiddle

3rd September 8.00pm TALON The Acoustic Collection

Tickets £12.00

9th September 7.30pm

2nd July 7.30pm

KILLER The Jerry Lee Lewis Story!

DES O'CONNOR One of the most well known, popular and best loved entertainers - a true legend!

Tickets £28.50

April to September, Mon - Sat, 10am - 5pm October to March, Mon - Sat, 10am - 4pm


AN EVENING OF BURLESQUE Direct from London's West End!

8th July 8.00pm

Tickets £18.00 14th September 7.30pm

9th July 8.00pm

29 High Street, Wimborne Minster, BH21 1HR tel: 01202 886116 e-mail:

Tickets £14.00 10th September 8pm

LIMEHOUSE LIZZY The No. 1 Tribute to Thin Lizzy

Tickets £15.00

• Also agents for: National Express The Mayflower Theatre

Tickets £14.00

APART FROM ROD If you like Rod Stewart you'll love this show

THE MANFREDS featuring Paul Jones, Mike Hugg & Tom McGuinness

Tickets £18.50 15th September 7.30pm

MARK WATSON Request Stops

CHRISTINE COLLISTER, DAVE KELLY & PETER FILLEUL An evening packed with musicality, talent, emotion... and certainly a little humour also.

Tickets £15.00

Tickets £15

Tickets £15.00 14th July 8.00pm

Programme subject to change – please confirm dates with the Box Office

Support YOUR local Theatre

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JULY Summer wine tasting BBQwith Templar Wines. Merley House. 01202 885204 - 31 0ct: The Three Rs - Schooldays in East Dorset, an exhibition exploring education in East Dorset, Priest's House Museum & Garden, Wimborne, 10.00-4.30. 01202 882533 (Closed Sundays) Caring for Kingston Lacy's Books. see book conservation in action, Kingston Lacy. 01202 883402 Mind, Body and Spirit Fayre, Allendale Centre, Wimborne, 10.00-4.00. 07918 657385 or Ring of 8, dancing in the gardens - weather permitting, Kingston Lacy, 2.00. 01202 883402 5" Gauge Miniature Trains running, rides are free, donations welcome, Wimborne District Society of Model Engineers, Cobham Sports & Social Club Ground, Merley, 11.00-4.00. Concert at St. Stephen's Church, Pamphill, Wimborne, 7.30. -Aug: Midday Music Box, local schools concerts, The Michael James Music Trust, Wimborne Minster, 12.00. Ladies Pamper Evening. Merley House. 01202 885024 Deans Court, Wimborne, courses with lunches: Bee keeping Introduction, 10.00-4.00. 01202 880515 Allotment Course, Kingston Lacy, Wimborne, 10.00-12.00 & 2.00-4.00, booking essential. 01202 883402 (line8) Church Fete, In the grounds of Kingston Lacy House, 1.00-4.00. Mystery Family Tractor Trailer Tour, spend time in the fresh air on a mystery tour of the estate, Kingston Lacy, Wimborne, 11.00-3.00. booking essential 01202 883402 (line 8) Salvias & Their Relatives by Mrs Miles, plants for sale, Wimborne Horticultural Society, Allendale Community Centre,Wimborne, 7.30. 01202 887006

Meet the House Steward, learn about caring for the house, Kingston Lacy, Wimborne, 12.00-1.00 & 2.00-3.00. 01202 883402 16 Archaeological Finds Surgery, Priest's House Museum & Garden, 10.00-3.00. 01202 882533 17 5" Gauge Miniature Trains running, rides are free, donations welcome, Wimborne District Society of Model Engineers, Cobham Sports & Social Club Ground, Merley, 11.00-4.00. 18 Masters and Pupils: The Art Schools in St Ives (1895-1924) lecture by David Tovey, Wimborne & Blandford Decorative & Fine Arts Society, Allendale Community Centre, 2.15. 01725 552225 18 Making a 'Community Tree' for a village – Andrew Pastor, East Dorset Group of The Somerset & Dorset Family History Society, Allendale Community Centre. Doors open 7.30 for 8.00 meeting. 01202 821478 19 Concert by Bournemouth Electronic Organ Society, Allendale Community Centre, 7.30. 01202 590383 20 Deans Court, Wimborne, courses with lunches: Bee Keeping Maintaining Your Hive, 10.00-4.00. 01202 880515 21-23 Love's Labour's Lost - Dorset School of Acting Youth Element, Deans Court. Box office: 01202 922675 22 BBQ, Music and Beer festival, The Barley Mow, Wimborne, from 5.00. 01202 882140 (camping available) 23 Country Fayre, The Barley Mow, Wimborne, 10.00 through to evening. 01202 882140 23 Earth Detectives, delve into our archaeological past with a dig and activities, Priest's House Museum & Garden, Wimborne, 10.00-4.30. 23 The Secret Garden and Serles House open for the National Gardens Scheme, live piano music, glass of wine & nibbles, 47 Victoria Road, Wimborne, 7.00-10.00. 01202 880430 23 -Aug: Pick Your Own Blueberries at the UK's original blueberry plantation.Trehane Nursery, nr Wimborne, 10.00-4.00. 01202 873490 24 Anonymous Travelling Market at Deans Court,10.00-4.00 24 Race Day, Dreamboats, Riverside, nr Wimborne Market, 01202 883442 24 The Secret Garden and Series House open for the National Gardens

Scheme, 47 Victoria Road, Wimborne, 2.30-5.30. 01202 880430 - 6 Aug: Wimborne Art Club Annual Art Exhibition, original works of art for sale, Church House, Wimborne, 10.00-5.00. 01202 886490 25 -2 Sep: Summer Holidays Entertainment Programme, Mondays-Fridays from 12.30, The Model Town & Gardens 26-30 Laudemus! Choral Evensong, 21st Anniversary Tour of Dorset Churches, The Michael James Music Trust (30 July Wimborne Minster 6.00) 27 Above & Below Stairs, meet the house servants in the house & Laundry Yard, Kingston Lacy, Wimborne, 11.00-1.00 & 2.00-4.00. 01202 883402 25

AUGUST Family fun day. Merley House. 01202 885024 A Midsummer Night's Dream, Kingston Lacy, Wimborne, 7.30. (booking essential) 11-14 Summer Gathering, Gaunts House, nr Wimborne 11 (also 13,28,29) The Secret Garden and Series House, 47 Victoria Road, 2.30-5.30. 12-14 Endorse It In Dorset Festival 13-14 Dorset Chilli Festival, Kingston Lacy, nr Wimborne, 10.00-5.00. 13-14 Blueberry Workshops, Trehane Nursery, nr Wimborne, 2.00. 14 Hamfest 2011, Amateur Radio Rally, Cobham Sports & Social Club, nr Wimborne, 10.00-5.00. 20 Treasure Hunt on Mountain Bikes, Kingston Lacy, Wimborne, 11.00-3.00 (booking essential) 27 Wimborne in Bloom Duck Race, 4.00. 27 Much Ado About Nothing, Open Air Theatre, Walford Mill Crafts, Wimborne, 7.30. 27-29 Craft & Garden Fair in the Park, Kingston Lacy Park, 10.30-6.00. 29 Chinese Day, Walford Mill Crafts, Wimborne, 11.00-4.00.

6 11

SEPTEMBER -31 Oct: Blueberry Plant Sale, Trehane Nursery, nr Wimborne (September, Mon-Fri only & October, weekends only) 4 Also 10,11,18: The Secret Garden and Series House, 47 Victoria Road, 2.30-5.30. 5-11 Happy Patchers Quilting Show, Wimborne Model Town & Gardens 10 Wimborne Horticultural Society's Autumn Show, Allendale Community Centre,12.00-4.00. 3

OCTOBER 6,13 Ornamental Grass Masterclass, Knoll Gardens, nr Wimborne (booking essential) 22-23 Wimborne Food Festival 22-23 Japanese Weekend, Kingston Lacy, 11.00-4.00. 29 Farmers' Market, Kingston Lacy. 10.30-1.30. NOVEMBER -31 Dec: Hidden Treasures, mixed contemporary craftwork, Walford Mill Crafts Wimborne in Bloom Charities Fair, Allendale Community Centre, 10.00-3.00. 12 Autumn Camellia Workshop, Trehane Nursery, nr Wimborne, 2.00. 18-20 Wimborne Art Club Autumn Exhibition, Pamphill Parish Hall, nr Wimborne, Friday 1.00-4.30, Saturday & Sunday, 10.00-4.30. 26 Christmas Tree & Town Lights Switch On, The Square, Wimborne, 3.30-4.30. 5 12

DECEMBER Christmas Bazaar, Royal British Legion, Wimborne, 10.30-12.30. Bach: B Minor Mass, Wimborne Choral Society & Wimborne Chamber Orchestra, Wimborne Minster, 7.30. 9-10 The Secret Garden and Series House, open garden, 47 Victoria Road, 6.00-9.00. 10 Save the Children Christmas Parade, town centre, parade., 2.30. 10 Royal Corps of Signals Band Concert, Wimborne Minster, 7.30. 23 Carols in the Cornmarket, Wimborne, 6.00-7.00 3 3



A Wealth of Expertise on Your Doorstep In order to service a growing need for Wealth Management Advice in Wimborne, highly-experienced Wealth Management Adviser, Karen Carn, has opened an office at 5 Church Street, Wimborne. In these times of historically-low interest rates, rising utility prices and yo-yoing market indices, it is more important than ever to make sure that your money is working as hard for you as possible, with as little risk as possible. Nobody knows exactly what the future holds, but what is certain is that, as we all live longer and have greater calls on our money, long-term financial security is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity. And as everybody’s circumstances are different, it is equally important to get bespoke, personal advice from an expert in the field. Most people have neither the time nor the experience to make sense of, let alone make the most of, the huge range of options available to the modern investor. Karen Carn has 33 years’ experience in financial services, the last decade of which she has spent focused on the specialism of Wealth Management, so she is ideally placed to discuss your present, future and long-term goals. As an Associate Partner of St. James’s Place Wealth Management, which manages £28 billion of client funds, Karen has the knowledge, experience and stability you need of a Wealth Management Adviser. Karen has experience of a wide variety of clients’ circumstances and, in addition to her general Wealth Management knowledge, specialises in making provision for long-term care and in ensuring that all aspects of the individual’s and family’s circumstances are taken into account when preparing her advice. So if you would like reassurance that what you already have in place is doing all that you would wish it to, or if you would like some advice on alternative options, or on making plans for the future, why not give Karen a call and then visit her in her new office?

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Grow your own

Illustration: Matt Donovan

Plots abound at Kingston Lacy

The new Kitchen Garden allotments at Kingston Lacy

In a new scheme to connect the National Trust estate with the local community, Kingston Lacy has started an allotment scheme. Joël Lacey digs a little deeper. Robert McBain takes a break from digging his bean trenches for a moment; the ground is rock-hard, there has been no rain for weeks, but he is keen to get his runners in and is delighted to have an allotment at the new Kingston Lacy Kitchen Garden. ‘In Poole, there’s a ten-year waiting list for an allotment,’ he says, ‘and I’d been on it for three years when I heard about this scheme at Kingston Lacy.’ When he retired, he moved within the 12-mile radius catchment area, which allowed him to apply for one of the local residents’ plots. In all Kingston Lacy has 118 plots and has recently received a National Lottery Local Food grant of over £102,000 to create the infrastructure – access tracks, a car park, lavatories and wash room, a communal mess room and an area for schools. The last of these, planning consent permitting, will be supplemented by a polytunnel, which will serve as an outdoor classroom. Bekki Stalker, who rejoices in the title of Community Gardener for National Trust at Kingston Lacy, is buzzing as she walks around the allotment area. From conception to opening, the project has taken just eighteen months and she, along with Project Manager Andrew Hunt have been amazed at the speed with which the plots have started to take shape. Of the 118 plots in the ‘Locally sown, locally grown’ scheme, some are for local people, and some are for people 22

and families from disadvantaged and deprived backgrounds, who will be referred, individually or in groups, by partner organisations. Bekki will be working in the Kitchen Gardens to support, guide and pass on good knowledge for vegetable production, as well as being available on an ‘outreach’ basis for anybody who cannot make it to the site in Abbott Street. One of the groups which has taken on an allotment is the Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust’s Complex Care Rehabilitation unit. Clinical Support Worker, Colin McDermott, is on site with some on the unit’s users. He thinks that the allotment which they are cultivating will work in a number of ways. Primary amongst these is, Colin says: ‘taking part in something that gives service users a sense of achievement. Just the act of watching something grow can be therapeutic.’ When Colin initially mooted the idea, most of the group of people with whom he works were a bit nonplussed. Once a couple of service users came on site, however, the story changed, as Colin explains: ‘Once we get them out here, word got around and more and more of them wanted to come down here.’ Although the original idea was for trips on the allotment to be a near one-to-one ratio with their carers, the group dynamic has not proven to be a negative one. ‘Some of

our people had hitherto found it difficult to engage with others, but here they are talking to people by the water butts, to each other, to other allotment holders and really starting to engage.’ There are other, more basic benefits too. The physical nature of the work on the allotment means that rather than sleep sometimes having to be achieved with the aid of medication, simple tiredness is helping the group’s members to sleep, reducing reliance on medication, which can only be a good thing. Another group user of the Kitchen Garden at Kingston Lacy, and one of the schemes greatest supporters is the Dorset Blind Association, which has one of the six raised beds at the garden and two plots in the allotments, all beautifully planted and tended. As we walked around the plots, chatting to allotment holders, a lady arrives with her young daughter toddling along behind her. Bekki Stalker talks her through the current facilities on site: the communal loos, including two disabled facilities, the mess, which contains the wherewithal for tea-making and eating, the green area by the mess – which will, once the polytunnel has been built, be home to a small play area to keep younger children occupied while their parents tend their plots – the bean poles and compost on site and the rules regarding dogs and manure. Although the facilities for tiny tots have yet to be put in place, it is clear that there has been plenty of activity on site from other children. The day after Dorset Life’s visit, two school parties were going to come down to tackle their much larger plots. The aim is that, as well as being

a useful activity, which takes in a number of areas of the curriculum, the school allotments will provide food for eating at the school as well. It is not only schoolchildren who have – and will be – hard at work on the allotments. It is clear that some other childen, especially the boys, have been active in the clearance of the allotments to begin with. Ruth Buttersfield has a very neatly planted allotment with potatoes, cabbages, French beans, onions, marigolds and rhubarb on her plot. The most striking element of the plot, though, is not the regular lines of green shoots showing, but a beautifully-laid stone and brick path, which bisects the plot, made from the materials unearthed from the plot itself while it was being dug over. The splendour of the path is directly proportional to the amount of rubble which Ruth’s son unearthed while the plot was being dug. The plot’s position coincided with that of the underground remains of an old wall, which also provided the whole bricks for a brick and stone plot marker. At a nearby plot, Jacqui Barnes is singing the praises of her child’s Lego club, if only because it allows her the time to troop back and forth to one of two seemingly equidistant water butts with her brightly-coloured

Robert McBain takes a well-earned break from digging the bean trench

Only three weeks in and the allotment holders are already personalising their spaces with artistic touches, like this sweet potato bird scarer


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Ruth Buttersfield (left) is helped out by fellow plot holder, Jacqui Barnes (centre), and Community Gardener Bekki Stalker

watering cans. The kitchen garden is a bit of a heat trap, which is great for growing when the ground is moist, but requires a fair amount of watering to ensure that the unseasonably-dry weather does not deleteriously affect the thirsty young shoots. When observing the thriving sense of community, with plot holders helping one another, talking to one another and clearly enjoying the unrelenting physical demands of tending to the young plants, it is actually quite difficult to believe that, at the time of our visit, it is only three weeks since the allotments opened.

What is even more surprising is that, at the moment, the plot holders are all many weeks away from reaping anything but salads in reward for their labours. Their sense of enjoyment is derived purely from the satisfaction of having done a good job of double-digging, removing rubble, plating onion sets in straight lines and aligning their bean poles symmetrically. Whether the plot holders are individuals, referrals from various social and housing services, school children, those recovering from serious health issues or dealing with a chronic or ongoing and otherwise restricting physical or mental impairment, the ‘Locally sown, locally grown’ scheme seems to be that rarest of projects: the wholly good idea. Although Kingston Lacy is currently the only one of National Trust’s properties to have received significant funding from the National Lottery’s Local Food fund, one can only hope the success of the scheme at Kingston Lacy continues and that it encourages others to follow in their footsteps. Left: One of the beautifully-tended plots from the Dorset Blind Association. The communal loos and mess are to the rear of the 12 raised beds. Below: The communal mess area, where weary sons of toil can forget about tons of soil with a nice cup of tea

Overleaf: Eyebridge, captured by Claire Hutton


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The heart of Wimborne

TIC every box Wimborne’s Tourist Information Centre does more than inform tourists, as Michael Handy reports There is a wooden wheel-backed chair by the counter in Wimborne’s Tourist Information Centre; its purpose is not to act as somewhere to sit when the TIC is busy, which it often is, but rather it is where local residents sit when they come in to make a booking from the internet. Sometimes it is easiest to believe that the most important initial in TIC is the C for centre. For Wimborne’s TIC is certainly at the heart of Wimborne. Positioned opposite the Minster and next to the Priest’s House Museum and Gardens, it is a natural destination for the casual visitor to Wimborne. But it caters not only to visitors but, to a great degree, to the residents of the town itself. This is not to say, however, that tourists do not form a huge part both of the reason for its existence and of the actual workload of the TIC. The members of staff are friendly, often laughing, always smiling and at pains to ensure that they answer any question that anyone may pose to them. This might be how to book a bus journey to some far-flung corner of the country or replying to a small boy wandering in and asking if they have any leaflets with ‘castles on them’. Only once does full-time Supervisor, Lindsay Lawrence, appear anything other than self-assured during Dorset Life’s visit: when she is asked to pose for a photograph. In addition to Lindsay, there are five part-time assistants: Debbie Wagstaff, Judy Harris, Sharon Foster, Veronica Mills, Jacqueline Speck and the full-time Tourism Manager at East Dorset District Council, Rachel Limb. Between the seven of them, they have over 71 years of East Dorset Tourism experience. Although tourism is traditionally seen as a summer activity – the staff share shop space with Dorset Cyclists Network on summer Saturdays – the TIC is a central community facility for locals and visitors throughout the year, for example playing host to Santa's Grotto on the Save the Children Christmas Parade day and handing out tasty Dorset treats during the Wimborne Food Festival. For all-year-round visitors, the staff co-wrote the popular Wimborne Town Trail, which was a joint project with the late John Perry, Mayor of Wimborne from 2005-2006. They also offer guided walks, give talks to local groups and are even Wimborne in Bloom entrants. In terms of keeping local and visiting people informed as to what is on their doorsteps, the literal answer is exciting new developments at the rear of the TIC at The Priest's House Museum, where a large team of volunteers is undertaking an archaeological excavation before the development of the new Open Learning Centre. Although some of their clients are not, it is fair to say, in the first flush of youth, the TIC does try to keep up to date

with modern trends, for example having a Facebook page and an online virtual flipbook version of the Rural Dorset accommodation guide. However, this is not in replacement of the more familiar methods of information dissemination; they are also a very traditional Tourist Information Centre and welcome leaflets and information from everyone, from small local groups to large attractions. The staff in the TIC may seem unhurried and unflappable, but their demeanour belies the sheer number of people and requests that they deal with. Including phone calls, emails and letters, in addition to those people who walk through the door, the Wimborne TIC alone deals

Wimborne's TIC: in and at the heart of Wimborne


TIC every box Wimborne TIC full-time Supervisor, Lindsay Lawrence

with 130,813 user contacts a year, which works out at an average of 68 an hour, or over one a minute. This is a far cry from the early days when, in 1980, the TIC was founded by and with a group of volunteers in the old bar in the Kings Head Hotel, the year of the first folk festival. Two years later the centre moved to a caravan in Wimborne Minster’s grounds for a year before going into the Quarterjack building for five years. Another holiday in the Minster grounds followed, this time in a Portakabin in 1989 then, 21 years ago, the TIC finally arrived in its current location and a year later, the decision was taken to replace the volunteers with paid staff, who would be employed by East Dorset DC. The throughput of visitors with whom the centre has had to deal has grown steadily over the years. In 1988, there were some 19,000 visitors a year, seven years later, it was dealing with 67,000 visitors a year and that has nearly doubled again since. But the people who walk though the door are treated as anything but numbers. It is obviously sheer common sense to ensure that visitors to the town are greeted warmly, answered quickly and accurately and given as much, if not more, information than they ask for. However, one gets a real sense that the people who work in the TIC are not only enjoying the conversation, but clearly are interested and enthused by their subject: Wimborne and the surrounding area. Even if the query relates to something which might be a little more banal, like selling bus tickets, the staff are always able to give a little more information or ask an extra question to make it seem less like a transaction and more like an interaction. Wimborne TIC helped to produce the East Dorset Accessibility Guide for less able residents and visitors to the area. To make the Centre and its services more accessible, it has a low counter, dropped kerb, level access, an induction loop, magnifying sheet and large-print information. Last year the Centre was awarded a Bronze under the Green Tourism Business Scheme, narrowly missing out on the Silver Award, to which they now aspire. A useful income stream is generated from the products that the TIC sells, and where possible, these are locallysourced products, including a selection of attractive cards by local artists and photographers, Dorset souvenirs, postcards, Dorset-made food products, Dorset flags, badges and stickers, Dorset DVDs, walking and historical books, maps and local-interest books. More prosaically, and presumably not for the benefit of tourists, the TIC sells black bin liners, orange garden-waste sacks, kitchen caddies and biodegradable liners on behalf of the Council and lets out its display windows as High Street display areas to local attractions and event organisers who want help to promote their upcoming events. The big clear glass is a rather nice analogy for TIC itself, showing the world to Wimborne and Wimborne to the world.

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Gastronomic Wimborne

Stuart Lowe, SL Photography at Wimborne Food Festival

In the best possible taste For its population, Wimborne is positively greedy when it comes to catering for food lovers. Julian Powell gets hungry just writing about it Dorset as a whole is wonderfully well served with superb local produce, excellent eateries and a keen sense of taste, but Wimborne’s connection with food must make it the best-served town in the county, if not the country, when it comes to food-related events. Even discounting the Folk festival, which it must be said, comes hand in hand with a fair amount of eating and drinking, the town is well provided for with over a dozen restaurants and similar number of pubs serving food within walking distance, the town might be thought to be in terms of the number of culinary possibilities, but these are in fact only the start of the smorgasbord of food-related possibilities in Wimborne. For a start, how many towns have two farmers’ markets? Wimborne does. The first is held at the end of Mill lane on the second Saturday of every month, and features, inter alia, produce from the Cranborne estate. Then there is Wimborne Market itself. Founded in the mid-1850s as a livestock market by Thomas Ensor, it grew up in the fields around the then new Wimborne railway station. After World War 2, livestock numbers declined at Wimborne and stock sales ceased in about 1972. A large produce auction on Tuesdays continued until about 1975. The general market now takes place on a Friday, from 6.30 until 2.00, and includes another farmers’ market with organic and locally-produced food. Aside from these regular opportunities for local people to indulge in culinary retail therapy – and there is a fine cookshop in town too – there is a growing number of festivals and events to tickle the tastebuds of locals and visitors alike. The first weekend in May saw the arrival of a Gallic, and quite possibly garlic, flavour in Wimborne in the shape of the French market. July will herald the arrival of its Italian equivalent – Italia in Piazza – on Sunday 10 July. Three weeks before this, on 18 June, Waitrose will be holding a traditional fayre on the green in front of the supermarket, although details are still a little sketchy at the time of writing, it is probably fair to assume that alongside the traditional summer fayre events, there will be a good deal of cooking and eating going on in, hopefully, the summer sun. For those who like their flavours hot too, Kingston Lacy hosts the Great Dorset Chilli Festival on 13-14 August. As well as a talk from the man who developed the famous Dorset Naga chilli, Michael Michaud, on developing and

growing super-hot chillies, there is a talk from seedman and chilli fanatic Matt Simpson of Simpson’s Seeds on the evolution and history, food and folklore of chillies. There is a chilli sauce competition, which consists of a blind tasting of all the entries, with the visitors themselves voting for their favourite. Of course, for the strong of heart (and quite possibly weak of mind) there is the chilli eating competition, which, despite the fact that it hasn’t even been officially launched yet, people are already trying to enter… a line about ‘where angels fear to tread’ springs to mind. More sensibly and usefully there are also demonstrations on how to cook with chillies without the heat overwhelming the flavour. So far, then, a pretty impressive array of events and facilities, and we have not got to the main events yet. As with the farmers’ markets, Wimborne is not content merely to have one food festival, oh no, it has to have two. Chronologically, the first of these is at Deans Court, which has been building its food-oriented business and

Food and food-related entertainments keep onlookers enthralled at the Wimborne Food festival


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Waitrose, Rowlands Hill Wimborne, Dorset BH21 1AN


























Stuart Lowe, SL Photography at Wimborne Food Festival

There is a wide variety of freshly-prepared food available in Wimborne to those who are more interested in eating than cooking!

Feast of Dorset

education for some time; and the latest intention is the building of a cooking school there, and the relocation of the kitchen garden. But its greatest contribution to the culinary culture of Wimborne is the Feast of Dorset, to be held this year on the weekend of 17-18 September. Last year over 10,000 visitors made their way to Deans Court to what was described by Mark Hix, in 2009, as the country’s best food festival. 2011’s version will blend the usual entertainment with specialist on-site demonstrations on cookery, growing organic vegetables, using herbs, beekeeping, foraging, pit-roasting, bread making, chocolate making and apple identification. Last year’s event had a mix of local and national culinary talent on show with Lesley Waters and Mark Hix, Rose Prince, Penny Harris and Jez Barfoot, among others, doing cooking demonstrations. However, the biggest and the longest-established of the foodie events is the Wimborne Food Festival. Held this year on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 October, the festival started small, as organiser Claire Kavanagh remembers: ‘Back in 2007 it was just a one-day event held in a marquee in the Cornmarket. There wasn’t a huge amount of planning involved and we had no idea what to expect. We had 10 stalls, three demonstration chefs cooking in a 25-seat venue and around 1500 visitors turned up.’ Last year’s event had fifteen times as many stalls, 35 event locations, seventeen demonstration chefs cooking in front of 150 people a time and over 10,000 visitors in all to the festival. Related to the festival is an increasing literary presence too, with authors of food-related books coming to town to spread the word, as it were, about their own output. The size of the town is probably the limiting factor for the festival, but that is not a big problem, as Claire explains: ‘I think we’re getting pretty close to capacity, but we are proud that we have kept the event free and are

Food event information at a glance For further details of the upcoming food-related events, go to and check the events pages, or contact the organisers through the following methods. Wimborne Market, No Tel Wimborne Farmers’ Market, 01202 695155 Great Dorset Chilli Festival, 08450 947 974 Feast of Dorset, 01425 485040 Wimborne Food Festival, 07989 018114

showcasing all that’s best about Dorset food and drink,’ which could be a fair reflection of the town of Wimborne itself. While the BID process is not by any means seen as a universal panacea to the chill economic winds blowing in the UK, there is no doubt that all this food-related activity is good for the town and the businesses of Wimborne. As the town builds an increasing reputation for its foodrelated activities, more visitors will come, from near and Some of the 10,000 people who attended last year’s Dean’s Court Feast of Dorset


PAMPHILL DAIRY FARM SHOP – 1 mile north of Wimborne off the B3082 –


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Please visit the website for more information A ‘hot’ weekend of chilli fiesta, with chilli plants, seeds and sauces, talks on growing chillies and cooking-with-chilli demonstrations, chilli eating competitions, chilli sauce competitions, music, great food, beers and cider

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Stuart Lowe, SL Photography at Wimborne Food Festival Great Dorset Chilli Festival

High footfall from a free festival in the streets of the town can only be good for the long-term economic viability of Wimborne

Keith Allen entertains the revellers at the 2010 Feast of Dorset Feast of Dorset

Dare you take part in the Great Dorset Chilli Festival’s chilli eating competition?

far, bringing their wallets and purses with them. Whilst other towns come to terms with empty high streets lined with nothing but charity shops and pound shops, and weekends devoid of visitors, Wimborne has a thriving food scene that works on all levels from inspiration to takeaway, from education to gastropub and from entertainment to fine-dining experience. As other towns see all their business going to out of town megastores, the usual shift of centre-of-gravity that normally occurs when a big supermarket opens has been greatly mitigated by the location of Waitrose both geographically and philosophically as part of the town. It seems only too appropriate that a supermarket based on partnership should be associated with the town’s gastronomic activities as, even though the events are all to some degree in competition with one another, the mere fact that all of them exist makes the town one of the great Dorset food locations. Furthermore, when they are taken as a whole, it means that their individual influence is magnified by what they collectively mean to the future well-being of Wimborne. 37

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Dumpton School

A school like no other From astronaut training to zero-carbon minibus fuel, Dumpton School is decidedly different, as Katie Carpenter found out

Dumpton from the air, showing the range of facilities on the 26-acre school site

Andrew Browning, Headmaster of Dumpton School, sits perched at the edge of his chair. This is not because he is buzzing with eagerness to explain everything about the school – although he very clearly is – but rather because our time together has flown by and he needs to leave in order to teach a science lesson. In terms of his time, as with all things connected with the school, Andrew’s philosophy is: ‘The children always come first.’ This would be a lovely motto for the school, were it not for the fact that there already is one: ‘They can [do it] because they think they can [do it].’ Combining these two phrases gives a fair characterisation of the philosophy of Dumpton School. The aim of the school, which Andrew runs with his wife, Jo, is to find the ‘it’ for every child, and to do it within a safe, fun, challenging and loving environment that breeds respect and self-respect, confidence and humility, teamwork and individual-working skills. The 105-year-old school was founded at Dumpton Gap in Kent, but moved to Wimborne during World War 2, when the school was evacuated from the South-East coast to somewhere safer. The Brownings have been in charge here for the last six years of that period – during which time the school, a not-for-profit educational charity, has grown in student numbers and financial strength – although they are keen to point out that without a fantastic bursar, inspirational teachers and a wonderfully supportive and widely qualified governing body, the school would not be what it is. Walking around the 26-acre site, which includes allotments for the children, two dipping ponds, woodland,

bee hives, a mountain-bike trail built by the pupils and the newly-arrived rescued battery chickens, it would be easy to believe that the most impressive thing about the school is its facilities, of which more in a moment. In fact, though, it is the atmosphere: an almost indefinable, allinfusing eagerness to teach from the academic staff, to

A work in progress: Science students are building a green greenhouse, from recycled soft drinks bottles


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The Browning family with school dog

nourish and protect from the pastoral staff and, above all, to learn and to have fun from the children. These last two are not discrete aims, but rather the result of the infectious enthusiasm of the Brownings and their colleagues in helping to raise, as opposed to merely educating, the children in their care. Over a hundred scholarships to local senior schools in the last five years are a testament to the ambition of both pupils and teachers. The educational and recreation facilities themselves are impressive: two cricket pitches, county-standard nets, fullsized all-weather pitches, a newly-covered swimming pool, two halls, a refectory in which all food is prepared nutfree, music rooms, a new science block and DT buildings which will be moving next year to new facilities. Along with these specialised facilities are specialist teachers, for example there are dedicated teachers in music, tennis and dance and the full-time academic staff have, according to Andrew Browning, ‘an incredibly eclectic background, with their own enthusiasms, which they pass onto the children.’ Science is a key element in Dumpton's teaching. Andrew, himself, is an award-winning chemistry teacher, who was at Canford School for 22 years, finishing as registrar, before coming to Dumpton, and his own enthusiasm for teaching is abundantly clear. This extends beyond the reaches of the school, though, and is part of his policy of wanting both the pupils and the staff to experience the world outside the confines of Dumpton. For the pupils, this could be taking nine Year 8 students to help Andrew with teaching science at Hampreston School – where Andrew’s sister, co-incidentally appointed on exactly the same day as he was six years ago, is Head Teacher – to joint field trips with Linwood SEN school or going on visits to, and providing musical entertainment for, Streets Meadow residential care home. For the staff, the school makes a contribution to trips to teach and to provide teacher training in a children’s home in India as part of their In-Service Training regime. Andrew Browning is clear that, whilst the 13-years-old leaving age allows him to keep children younger, longer, he does not want them to be isolated or to be ignorant of the local community or children in other sectors of education or elsewhere in the world. The provision of Latin education to all Year 6s and above, of French being taught by two native speakers from Reception and, from next year, providing Spanish as a second foreign language allows children throughout their time at Dumpton to be exposed to other languages, and via them, other cultures.

There are currently 350 children at Dumpton, ranging in age from 2½ years to thirteen, and there are no plans to increase these numbers. Partly this is to ensure that the pupil:teacher ratios do not increase, but also to ensure that the Brownings can still be on first-name terms with all their pupils’ parents, a task made easier by the fact that their own two children attend the school. For Jo Browning, whose role has grown from being a handy, on-site supply teacher to being a constant pastoral presence in the children’s and parents’ lives as the children grow-up at the school, the fact of having her own children at the school is a major plus. It also gives her, perhaps uniquely for someone in her position, a daily insight into the thoughts of pupils at the school. When she and Andrew mischievously asked their son how he would feel if they ever moved from Dumpton, he replied: ‘it would be the end of my world.’ Even allowing for the hyperbole of extreme youth, there can surely be no greater compliment to the children’s relationship with the school.

The recently arrived Dumpton rescue chickens




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Dumpton School Wimborne




A good and faithful servant Anthony Oliver has given a quarter-century of outstanding service to Wimborne and its people. John Newth has been to meet him. Since the local elections in May, a familiar voice has been missing from the deliberations of Wimborne Minster Town Council. Anthony Oliver decided to stand down after twenty years on the Council, five of them as Mayor. ‘I was elected in 1991,’ he told me, ‘and twenty is a good round number, but of course I shall miss the Council.’ What he modestly does not add is how much his wisdom and experience will be missed in return. Anthony was born in 1940, in Croydon. Initially he thought to follow an uncle’s example and make farming his career, and he attended the Surrey Farm Institute at Guildford before working on farms in Sussex and Hampshire. He also spent some time at the National Institute for Research into Dairying, near Reading (since when Reading has been ‘his’ football team). While still in his teens, he started collecting for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and during his time in Sussex founded a local fund-raising branch. It was through this voluntary work that he met Christine, who was also active for the RNLI, and whom he married in 1964. Today their daughter, Anne, lives in Cornwall and is heavily involved in anything on the sea, and son Paul has a family base in Colehill with his wife and two sons, although his job as a Chief Petty Officer in the Royal Navy often takes him away on tours of duty. When the idea of farming as a career began to pall, Anthony’s interest in lifeboats led him to join the RNLI as a member of staff (‘from udders to rudders’ as he puts it), starting in 1966 as an assistant organising secretary for the South-West, based in Bristol and living in Westonsuper-Mare. Promotion to district organising secretary for the South meant a move to Salisbury and, when the RNLI shifted its headquarters from London to Poole in the 1970s, it made sense for Anthony to move there as well. By the time he retired after 31 years working for the RNLI, he was in charge of fund-raising nationally. So it was that the Olivers arrived in Dorset in 1976. Although they were living in Broadstone initially, one of the first things they did was to join the Wimborne Horticultural Society, and they also became regular worshippers at the Minster. In 1984, they completed what

now seems their inevitable progress towards Wimborne, buying the house in Park Lane in which they still live. Like so many people who enter local politics, Anthony first got involved in a single issue – in his case, the action group that opposed the new distributor road – and moved on to the Town Council from there. A year after joining the Council he was elected Mayor (although still working fulltime), an office which he filled again in 1997, 2000, 2001 and 2007. He is remembered as a particularly conscientious Mayor but also as an able chairman of the Council – it is sometimes forgotten that this rôle goes with the more ceremonial Mayoral duties. Looking back on his twenty years on the Council, Anthony feels that there has been a big improvement in efficiency, thanks to better systems and new technology. ‘The biggest frustration,’ he says, ‘is that town councils have so little real executive power compared with the district and county councils. Reasonably enough, because people

Anthony Oliver, familiar to Wimborne residents in the mayoral garb he has been chose to wear five times


A good and faithful servant

Anthony Oliver (third from left) getting handson for the Wimborne in Bloom effort.

know you, they stop you in the street and want something done about a matter that is troubling them. In such cases you can tell them who to talk to at district or county, but I would love to be able to take action directly.’ Anthony will be far from idle because he remains Chairman of Wimborne in Bloom, which will perhaps prove his most lasting legacy to the town. It all started in 1992 when he was Mayor and he and Christine were invited to the Regional in Bloom prize-giving in Bournemouth. ‘If others can do it, why can’t we?’ they said to each other on the way home, and the results since then have included the regional title in the small town category six times, and a place in the Britain in Bloom national finals three times. Anthony pays tribute to his band of ‘brilliant volunteers’,

A rather less familiar image of Anthony Oliver from his wedding day


but every team needs to be led and he has proved a most energetic and committed leader. The Minster is still an important part of the Olivers’ life and, having been a churchwarden between 1987 and 1991, Anthony has just been appointed to the post for a second term. This means that he is heavily involved in the current interregnum following John Holbrook’s departure to be Bishop of Brixworth, and in the selection process for a new Rector. Christine organises the flowers and is also head guide. Among their other activities, Anthony and Christine are members of the twinning associations that link Wimborne with Valognes and Ochsenfurt. Like most people in the town, Anthony says that he will be pleased when the issue of the bridge over the Allen between Waitrose and Crown Mead is resolved. He admits that he was not a supporter of the new Waitrose but now feels that ‘it has settled in much better than I thought it would’ and refers to it as ‘his corner shop’. He waits with interest to see the outcome of the part pedestrianisation of the Square, and remains concerned about the lingering effects of the High Street fire in 2009: ‘We lost our post office for seventeen weeks, and it is a struggle to win back all the customers who got into the habit of going elsewhere during that time.’ Partly for that reason, Anthony was a supporter of the successful efforts to set up the Wimborne BID (Business Improvement District) but says that the money must now be spent only by people in the town for the improvement of the town. Above all, he is a positive person who recognises Wimborne’s advantages: a small geographically compact town with lots of organisations run by volunteers and a strong community spirit. Few people have done more to foster that spirit than Anthony Oliver MBE.

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Peter Booton

Most of the chains date from Victorian times, but the ones with longer links may be older

Wimborne Minster's Chained Library Margaret Collin on one of Dorset's less well-known treasures he distinctively brown and grey twin square towers of the church dedicated to St Cuthberga are visible from any direction on the skyline of Wimborne Minster. Over the centuries the Minster has been the guardian of the history and traditions of its community as well as many inherited treasures, including an extremely valuable and irreplaceable chained library – a treasure house for the bibliophile and a jewel in Dorset's crown that is certainly worthy of national acclaim. This rare and precious collection of antiquarian books exists in a dim little room that can only be approached by


a very narrow spiral staircase from the vestry below. The room was originally constructed in the 14th century as the Minster's Treasury and was not converted into a library until Rev, William Stone (1615-1685), Minister of the Minster and Principal of New Inn Hall at Oxford, bequeathed to the Minster a gift of 90 volumes of Fathers and Commentators. This was part of his library in Oxford, where he was recognised as one of the most learned theologians of his time. Almost all these books are in Latin, Greek or Hebrew and include not only the Fathers‌, but also many of the writers of the early Church; it is a collection that is unique 47

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three feet in length and are attached to the fore-edge of the books by a metal hasp, while at the other end they are attached to the shelves by a ring that slides along a rod. The oldest book in the collection is the rare manuscript, the Regimen Animarum (Direction of Souls), written on vellum in 1343. The black ink used is based on oak apples and the red contains red lead. Within the manuscript are three treatises designed to give advice to priests on spiritual dangers and their remedies. Sagacious counsel is given on Peter Booton

outside the ancient universities and cathedrals of Britain. In 1695, Roger Gillingham, a wealthy landowner and Member of the Middle Temple, who had a philanthropic interest in education, made a codicil to his will bequeathing books to the Minster library. The books were selected not only for the clergy but also for 'the better class of person in Wimborne'. The bequest included additional books to the value of ÂŁ10 from his own library, chosen on the basis of being 'best suited to a public library' and covering many secular subjects for the education of the local populace. However, he stipulated that, before any of his books were given to the Minster library, all books already in the collection should be chained, in order to prevent pillaging by those seeking to extend their own private libraries! He also left ÂŁ10 to be used for making places on the shelves and providing chains for the books he had personally donated. The chained library of Wimborne Minster is therefore based on a combination of a very fine theological library and the library of a gentleman of the late 17th century. Over the years books have been added or lost. Today there are over 350 volumes and most have been in the room for more than 300 years. Over 150 of the books are chained to the shelves. The type of chain used to attach the books to the shelves in 1695 is not known, because the library was re-chained during the restoration of the Minster by Wyatt around the mid-19th century. There is no truth in the legend that the original chains of the Minster library were handcrafted by the children of the orphanage and the inmates of the workhouse in the style designed by Michaelangelo for the Laurentian Library. In 1695 there was no orphanage or workhouse in Wimborne. The chains seen in the library today are of atype described as 'knotted', with a swivel at each end. This design of chain did not exist before the end of the 18th century and is still being manufactured in the Midlands for farming and industrial purposes. The chains are about

Ken Ayres

Wimborne Minster houses the rarity of a chained library

The library is housed in the former Treasury


Villadogladia by Nlcholas Russell includes an illustration of the monument to Sir William Uvedale in the Minster

Peter Booton

matters such as the penalties for priests who commit the crimes of 'rapine and arson'. This work is one of two in the library found to contain early examples of the modified Arabic numbers that gradually replaced the Roman forms during the 15th and 16th centuries, the other being the oldest printed book in the collection: Opuscuala Beati Anseimi Archiepiscopi, printed in Basle in 1495. A copy of Theophylactus on the Gospels can be seen in its original resplendent binding of 1532, John Calvin's famous work – Christianae Religionis Institutio, printed in Basle in 1554 – is one of the first books to contain the Geneva Catechism. Wimborne also has a first edition of the de Concilio of Cardinal Reginald Pole, printed by Paulo Manutius in 1562 – his the first year as Director of Printing at the Vatican. The library holds at least five copies of the famous 'Breeches Bible' published around 1595. Another prime exhibit is the massive Bibla Sacra Polyglotta, written in nine languages: Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Syriac, Ethiopic, Arabic, Persian, the Samaritan Pentateuch and the Chaldee Paraphrase. Edited by Brian Walton, between1653 and 1657, this Bible was the first book sold on a subscription basis and Cromwell aided the scheme by allowing the import of paper

Part of the Stone Bequest, which formed the foundation of the library in 1686


from France free of duty. There are other important Bibles in the collection and, curiously, there is also a 'Knapsack Bible' from the Boer War. The chained library holds early editions of the classic works of Cicero, Plato, Pliny, Plutarch and Machiavelli. The subject of history is well represented by the works of Eusebius, Bede, Camdon and many others. There is also a remarkable collection of Church music dating back to Elizabethan times. The Organ Book (1670) includes pieces by Weelkes and Christopher Gibbon. Othe literary highlights include Evelyn's French Gardiner (1672), which in its sub-title claims to have been 'transplanted' from the French. The Gentleman's Companion (1672) advises that when prospecting for a bride, a gentleman should not only consider her family, education and virtue, but also 'look on the main chance of her estate ... because a comfortable estate is the only way to extenuate the innumerable inconveniences of married life'. The Royal Society's Proceedings, published by W Rawlins (1681), carries the first English watermark, which is a representation of a court jester wearing a cap with bells hence the term 'foolscap paper'. This particular volume also gives directions on where to find the Dodo and its eggs. Only in such a centre of quaint tradition, where the verger still uses a long prodding wand to awaken somnolent members of the congregation at Matins and Evensong, could the chained library have survived for over 300 years in the old Treasury above the vestry. After all this time the books are in remarkably good condition and the Minster is determined that they will always remain in their original location. While it may not compete in quantity of volumes with the more famous chained library in Hereford Cathedral, Wimborne is significant for the quality of its contents and can lay claim to being one of England's first free public libraries. It is, without doubt, an important part of the national heritage. s;4HEORIGINALVERSIONOFTHISARTICLEFIRSTAPPEAREDIN the September 2001 edition of Dorset Life - The Dorset Magazine]








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Dorset Life in Wimborne 2011  

A high-quality glossy magazine made in Dorset for residents of Wimborne in Dorset

Dorset Life in Wimborne 2011  

A high-quality glossy magazine made in Dorset for residents of Wimborne in Dorset